Even Eddie is over James and Elizabeth’s nonsense at this point. But Swift, being Swift, was always destined to conjure up a powerful reaction. You can unsubscribe at any time. There are a few other little bits, but basically that was one of the very last things we did. When Swift chose to give no interviews around Folklore’s release, her fans were left to fill in the gaps, with many of them digging deep to uncover the stories that might have inspired each track. I wrote this, and Justin provided the pulse. She was married to the heir of Standard Oil fortune, married into the Harkness family, and they bought this house in Rhode Island up on a cliff. She said, “What the fuck? It’s written from another friend’s perspective. With other people I had to be secretive, but with Justin, because he was going to sing, I actually did send him a version of the song with her vocals and told him what I was up to. “Exile”: According to the theory, the Swift–Bon Iver duet is Betty and James singing to each other as they break up. It’s more about the narrative aspect of it. We actually didn’t have a moodboard for the album at all. In quarantine, any album release finds new resonance. 1 on the Billboard 200 album charts. With her 2020 release Folklore, Swift tells the story of a teen love triangle.She sprinkles in personal songs about her relationship with Jow Alwyn as well.. They released their official self-titled debut LP in 2018, and this year released “No Time For Love Like Now” with Michael Stipe. Holy Floop, Robert Rodriguez Is Making Another. I interpreted that and built the song, played the piano, and built around that template. It’s kind of like coming out of “seven” where you have this image of her in the swing and she’s seven years old, and then in “august” I think it feels like fast-forwarding to now. On her latest album “folklore,” Taylor Swift has captured these associations I … Our look back at the classic high school series begins with a pilot episode establishing the clique labels that will dissolve as the show progresses. Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com. There were different stages of the process. By signing up you are agreeing to our, The True Story Behind the New Netflix Film 'Penguin Bloom', Sign up to receive the top stories you need to know now on politics, health and more, © 2021 TIME USA, LLC. Why Has GameStop's Stock Gone Up So High Recently? To me, it’s this Icelandic kind of feel, almost classical. Already a subscriber? Now they’re also medical professionals. We didn’t shy away from that. We didn’t talk too much about it [laughs]. A stillness, in a sense. The song [began from] the voice memo she sent me, and then I worked on the music some and we tracked her vocals, and then my brother added orchestration. It’s like an archipelago, and each song is an island, but it’s all related. I said, “Well, if he’s inspired by the song, he’ll do it, and if not, he won’t.” I sent it to him and said, “No pressure at all, literally no pressure, but how do you feel about this?” He said, “Wow.” He wrote some parts into it also, and we went back and forth a little bit, but it felt like an incredibly natural and safe collaboration between friends. I don’t think Jack … well, Jack might, but when I say the Cardigans or Mazzy Star, those aren’t Jack’s words about “mirrorball,” it’s just what calls to mind for me. I also know where Taylor’s heart is, and I think that’s great anytime a song takes on greater meaning for anyone. There are threads. It’s also kind of a sneaky pop song, because of the beat that comes in. Unlike her previous album Lover, which exuded bright pastels of pop, the monochromatic Folklore demonstrates the musical roots of Swift’s country past by delving into a more ethereal alternate style. It would be fruitless to break down every Swift lyric; the songwriting can be poetically obtuse, and she’s telling many stories, from many character points of view, with many aching regrets. She wanted it to have an early Bob Dylan, sort of a Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan feel. Photo: Getty Images. She told me the story behind it, which sort of recounts the narrative of Rebekah Harkness, whom people actually called Betty. That, and the greyscale, woodsy images she teased the release with, announced her new direction: alternative pop-folk. She said that she’s a fan of the emotion that’s conveyed in our music. Taylor Swift’s New Album Is Something Totally Different — But What Does folklore Mean? But lines like “And women like hunting witches too” harken back to her Reputation era (“They’re burning all the witches even if you aren’t one,” she sings on “I Did Something Bad”). It’s a folkloric way of processing. “this is me trying,” to me, relates to the entire album. It’s partially the story of her grandfather, who was a soldier, and partially then a story about a nurse in modern times. If there’s one thing we know about Taylor Swift, it’s that she works hard. I think she just heard it, and instantly, this song came to her, which is really an important one. Taylor Swift literally plays The Man in new video. One of the songs on Folklore that caught the most early attention online is “Betty,” a late-album track that sees Swift return most directly to her country roots. Taylor Swift's latest album Folklore has returned to number one in America, becoming the first record to sell more than a million copies in 2020. Please attempt to sign up again. The album’s famous cover, shot in New York on Jones St., is one block away from Cornelia Street. Okay, but is it A24-core?[Laughs.] It’s like a surface bubbling. Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon started Big Red Machine in 2008 as a loose musical collaboration. Obviously, he’s a dear friend of mine and collaborator. She shared the names of all the major collaborators she worked with: pop producer and longtime musical partner Jack Antonoff, who she called “musical family;” her “musical heroes,” the moody rock band The National’s Aaron Dessner and indie god Justin Vernon of Bon Iver; a mysteriously-named collaborator called William Bowery. Every song has these kinds of lyrical winks, reinforcing the universe that Swift has crafted even as she expands it with her newfound layers of fantasy and character. “The Last Great American Dynasty,” in contrast, is specific and historical: the story of socialite Rebekah Harkness, the prior inhabitant of Swift’s own expansive Rhode Island estate. Just playing it on one guitar, it has this emotional locomotion in it, a meditative finger-picking pattern that I really gravitate to. This is maybe the closest thing to a pop song. Or she and William Bowery would write “exile,” and then that happened. I think that is symptomatic of folklore, this type of narrative song. This is one of my favorites, for sure. But those ballads have often been her most poignant work. After writing all these songs, this one felt the most emotional and, in a way, the rawest. It has one of the most important lines on the record: “And just like a folk song, our love will be passed on.” That’s what this album is doing. (Cue the plaintive harmonica.) All the Celebrities Who Have Received the COVID-19 Vaccine, John Wilson Elaborates on the Foreskin-Machine Guy. It has this very sharp tone to it, but sort of in gothic folklore. Maybe I’m reading into it too much from my own perspective, but [I think of] the whole album as an exercise and working through these stories, whether personal or old through someone else’s perspective. This is one of my absolute favorite songs on the record. On Taylor Swift's surprise eighth album Folklore, ... “Mad Woman,” for instance, is the story of a “misfit widow getting gleeful revenge,” according to her note on social media. A new date and a record number of submissions. On stripped-down surprise album "Folklore," Taylor Swift goes full singer-songwriter. The core of it sounds like a folk song. The July 23 release of Folklore, her 16-track eighth album, came as a surprise even to devout followers: only 11 months after Lover, it was the first time she’d put out a project on less than a two-year schedule. It was kind of a guide. There are just such iconic images in the lyrics [“Spinning in my highest heels”], which aren’t coming to me at the moment because my brain is not working [laughs]. It was a very organic process where [meaning] wasn’t something that we really discussed. We didn’t talk about it at first. By Craig Jenkins. “Mad Woman,” for instance, is the story of a “misfit widow getting gleeful revenge,” according to her note on social media. Some songs are more mysterious than others. That’s the first song we wrote [in early May]. I think of mythical creatures and stories passed down for generations — which could potentially be true in some respects. She would always talk about it. These three songs explore a love triangle from all three people’s perspectives at different times in their lives.” Consensus has led listeners to believe the three songs in question are “Betty,” “Cardigan” and “August.” Woven together, they tell a story of betrayal, heartache and sweet teen angst. That was clear to her. That’s an interesting contrast. It’s lots of different instruments played and then slowed down and reversed. Taylor and William Bowery, the singer-songwriter, wrote that song initially together and sent it to me as a sort of a rough demo where Taylor was singing both the male and female parts. Folklore is the 8 th studio album from Taylor Swift. I sent [the file] at 9 p.m., and around 2 a.m. or something, there was “cardigan,” fully written. It’s memorializing love, childhood, and memories. It was a surprise album, released through Republic Records on July 24, 2020, eleven months after its predecessor, Lover (2019). Folklore is what a lot of fans have been waiting for all along: a lengthy, emotionally-wrought indie album. That was another one where it was music that I’d been playing for a couple of months and sort of humming along to her. I have these six other ideas that I love with Jack [Antonoff] that we’ve already done, and I think what we’ve done fits really well with them.” It’s sort of these narratives, these folkloric songs, with characters that interweave and are written from different perspectives. I Don’t Make the Rules. It had these lower register parts, and I think we both realized that this was a bit of a lightning rod for a lot of the rest of the record. This one Taylor and William wrote, and then both Jack and I worked on it. The National multi-instrumentalist spoke to Vulture over the phone from upstate New York a few hours after the surprise release of Swift’s eighth studio album. Its vision is a grey-blue soundscape: an autumnal album dropped on us in the heat of summer, the first full project of this kind from Swift, inhabiting a truly melancholy space she’s mainly hinted at in past ballads. Bob Dylan’s second LP, released in 1963, features some of his most stripped-down acoustic folk songs, with plenty of harmonica. Taylor Swift’s ‘betty’ Is Queer Canon. It’s an artist who’s extended her ambitions to looking back and getting a little lost in the memory haze, digging up an old favorite cardigan for comfort. This is a big departure. That’s a Jack song. Good comparison. Folklore meets her exactly where she’s strongest, right now. You\'ll receive the next newsletter in your inbox. It just kind of would happen where she would dive back into the folder and find other things that were inspiring. I think that sometimes she would point it out entirely, but I would start to see these patterns. I don’t really know if she does either. I wrote that after we’d been working for a while. “the 1” and “hoax,” the first song and the last song, were the last songs we did. Aaron Dessner confirms: folklore is Taylor Swift’s goth record. Awesome!” But he’s been involved in so many big collaborative things that he wasn’t interested in it from that point of view. I know that the film [I Am Easy To Find] has really affected her, and she’s very much in love with that film and the record. “And some things,” she sings after describing a harrowing moment of war, “you just can’t speak about.”. I don’t know. That’s when I realized something crazy was happening. Taylor Swift surprise-released “Folklore,” an album of delicate, atmospheric music that’s a definitive jolt away from the last near decade of her big-tent pop. On “Folklore,” Swift decided she could set aside autobiography to tell stories that weren’t necessarily her own. We trade ideas all the time and he made a folder, and there was a pulse in there that I wrote these basslines to. It has this kind of glow and haze. When I sent her the folder, that was one of the main feelings. It felt like one of the songs that pulls you along. We thought it was complete, but Taylor then went back into the folder of ideas that I had shared. These are the bookends, you know? With production from Aaron Dessner and Jack Antonoff, Folklore eschews the upbeat pop of Swift's previous albums for mellow ballads driven by piano and guitar. It almost reminds me of ‘90s-era Cardigans, or something like Mazzy Star. There’s probably a connection there. An unexpected error has occurred with your sign up. It gets loud. Swift also would start some songs by sending voice memos to Dessner, who would then flesh them out or write music to it. Her songs are not only a glimpse of her personal journey but also explain her whims, dreams, and aspirations. It has a darkness that I think is cathartic, sort of witch-hunting and gaslighting and maybe bullying. Swift has historically been one of our most confessional pop stars in her music, often mining her personal archives for material. Dessner would also send files to his brother, Bryce, and other collaborators to flesh out the music; he sums up the process as “sending files around.”, On bringing in fellow The National member, Bryce Dessner: “My brother lives in France and that’s where he and his family were in lockdown. There’s sadness, but it’s a kind of hopeful sadness. To me, that’s the underlying mission of the song. Books Stars we lost TV shows 100 movies to stream This is the second song we wrote. There’s an emotional wryness and rawness, while also to this kind of wink in her eyes. Taylor Swift's new Folklore album sees the singer go indie. It just shows her versatility and her power as a songwriter, the sharpness of her writing. I also was interested in this almost In Rainbows-style latticework of electric guitars. “mirrorball” is, to me, a hazy sort of beautiful. We pushed it a little more towards John Wesley Harding, since it has some drums. I think she said to me, “Don’t try to give it any other space other than what feels natural to you.” If you leave me in a room with a piano, I might play something like this. In the other parts of the composition, I did it to Justin’s pulse. A lot of them have this kind of longing for looking back on things that have happened in your life, in your friend’s life, or another loved one’s life, and the kind of storytelling around that. It was just like, well, we’re working on something, and obviously he’s crazy talented, but it just felt right. Published 27 February 2020. She was infamous for not fitting in, entirely, in society; that story, at the end, becomes personal. It’s believable, you know? To this day, its lyrics still cause debate. And when she sings “You drew stars around my scars” on the same song, close followers might flash back to the “guitar string scars” of “Lover.”. I thought it was a perfect match for the music, and how her voice feels. I think in a way, she didn’t realize she was writing for this album or a future something. But over the years, the songstress has transformed herself in many ways. By Brady Gerber. On July 24, Taylor Swift released her surprise eighth studio album “Folklore,” which has just reached its fifth week at No. But then the coronavirus pandemic swept in and, presumably, cleared her pop star slate. The two other characters in the trio, James and Ines, happen to be the names of the two daughters of Swift’s friends Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, deepening the connection to her real-life friend circle and the Swiftian world we know. The album was sort of finished before that. In releasing Folklore, Swift was clear and direct about her intent and her work. You believe that they’re having this intense dialogue. Courtesy of the artist Taylor Swift's eighth album, Folklore, was surprise-released Friday.The record features production by The National's Aaron Dessner and a new set of songwriting tools. Taylor Swift has surprised fans with the release of her 8th studio album, Folklore. It reminds me of Joni Mitchell, in a way — there’s this really powerful and emotional love song, even the impressionistic, almost jazz-like bridge, and she weaves it perfectly together. But I love the feeling in it and the production that Jack did. And she has never sounded better. Tragic poetry, I guess. It was very much in this sound world that I’ve been playing around with, and she immediately clicked with that. She also loves to weave in references to her old music, a trail of breadcrumbs for fans to follow from era to era. Swift was left with her privacy, as lockdowns shuttered us all into our homes. It’s also a few other things, depending on your mood: an unofficial Big Red Machine collaboration (Big RED Machine); a spiritual companion to The National’s 2019 album I Am Easy To Find, specifically its accompanying Mike Mills film, also shot in black-and-white and emphasizing a more natural setting; or just Swift’s attempt at a headphone record, one that, even if you don’t buy into the Taylor Swift mythology, rewards multiple listens as you pick up on all the intricacies of each song and realize wow, this is where the In Rainbows influence comes in. And the rest of us? The album clearly shows a venture into new sonic realms for the cross-genre star. Aaron Dessner confirms: folklore is Taylor Swift’s goth record. Taylor Swift's teenage love triangle songs on Folklore explained By Lauren Huff July 29, 2020 at 09:00 AM EDT But “Betty” can also be read as vaguely autobiographical, which some fans are keen to do. They come in and sort of pull you along, kind of reminiscent of Big Red Machine. The Story Behind Every Song on Taylor Swift’s folklore. * The request timed out and you did not successfully sign up. For Taylor Swift, it means writing and recording an entire album in just a few months and executing an out-of-nowhere record release, complete with cardigans. But even in her downtime, curtains drawn on her celebrity, Swift was creating. The local police have launched an official investigation. Taylor Swift's folklore is her surprise eighth album that she released at midnight on July 24, 2020.The latest album completely stylized in lowercase letters. Still adjusting to pandemic life, still engaged in important conversations about our country’s racist history, we might also want something at just this unhurried tempo. That’s both “peace” and “hoax” to me. Why Holocaust Remembrance Day Matters More Than Ever. FKA Twigs Teams With Headie One and Black Activists for ‘Don’t Judge Me’ Video, The video features Kara Walker’s installation, Claire Foy Will Star in Erotic Fish Adaptation. It’s kind of the story of this woman and the outrageous parties she threw. On social media, she was neither cryptically silent nor strategically active: she seemed, for the first time in a long time, like she was just living her life and drinking wine on her couch like many of us, big plans on hold. Roaring twenties, tossing pennies in the pool, As avid listeners well know, Swift loves riffs on the past. With folklore’s teen heartbreak trilogy, Swift circles the same affair from each party’s differing view. We both could probably come closer together in a sense that weirdly works. I think it’s just a breezy, sort of intoxicating feeling. On “Epiphany,” Swift dives into the experience of another historical character: her grandfather, Dean, when he landed on the beaches of Guadalcanal in 1942. I can’t speak to what it’s about. Natalie Morin. It “will revolve around the activities of a multicultural family” and those activities will probably involve being spies. It’s one of the biggest releases on the album to me. And I think Jack, if he was working with orchestrations, there’s an emotional quality to his songs that’s clearly in the same world as mine. It didn’t feel like getting a guest star or whatever. She’s well aware of the sentiment of it and what I do, but she didn’t ask for a certain kind of thing. In her documentary released earlier this year, Miss Americana, the intense pace of Swift’s life — and the similarly intense pressures of the scrutiny she finds herself under — was laid bare for all to analyze. She just dialed directly into the heart of the music and wrote an incredible song and fully conceived of it and then kept going.It harkens back to lessons learned, or experiences in your youth, in a really beautiful way and this sense of longing and sadness, but ultimately, it’s cathartic. The narrative is essential, and kind of what it’s all about. “Exile,” with Bon Iver, reeks with the pain of parting. But the truth is that the music, that way of playing with harmonized basslines, is something that probably comes a little bit from me being inspired by how Justin does that sometimes. And then I played the piano to it, and it almost felt classical or something, those suspended chords. Folklore isn’t the pop star album that will drive worries away and replace them with sparkle. She wrote “the 1,” and then she wrote “hoax” a couple of hours later and sent them in the middle of the night. That might be the most scathing song on folklore. It’s supposed to be a dialogue between two lovers. She evolved into rock-pop by 1989, stretched herself into hip-hop on the spiky Reputation, went full-throated pop on Lover. He was like, “Whoa! “cardigan” was one of those sketches; it was originally called “Maple.” It was basically exactly what it is on the record, except we added orchestration later that my brother wrote. But then we kept going, and more and more songs happened. I think they both put so much raw emotion into it. © 2021 Vox Media, LLC. The “who” of it all, of course, remains murky. Still, as she announced in advance, she buried plenty of Easter eggs in her words for her fans to unpack at will. Kevin Mazur—Netflix/Getty Images; Getty Images, Biden's Sign Language Interpreter Tied to Far Right. In the past year, Taylor Swift’s public dispute with music manager Scooter Braun over her music catalog made headlines and raised questions about the ownership artists have over the music they create. After Taylor asked if I would be interested in writing with her remotely and working on songs, I said, “Are you interested in a certain kind of sound?” She said, “I’m just interested in what you do and what you’re up to. It’s a recognition that you take on the burden of your partners, your loved ones, and their ups and downs. Eventually, Taylor bought that house. It’s like a beacon for this record. My brother did really beautiful orchestration of it. “Hoax,” a quiet piano ballad, details a relationship flawed but lasting. I enjoy that about her writing. That’s also very important to Taylor and Jack. She doesn’t often get to work with music that is so raw and emotional, or melodic and emotional, at the same time. It is mostly described as an indie folk, alternative rock, and electro-folkalbum while a few classify it as pop. When I think of folklore, I think of mythology, fantasy and fairytales. You can’t talk about it. It created this giant stack of harmony, which is so giant that it was kind of hard to manage, sonically, but it was very beautiful to get lost in. She had a vision, and it was connecting back in some way to the folk tradition, but obviously not entirely sonically. (“A pretty wild ride,” he admits, sounding tired yet happy.) Published 24 July 2020. I think it’s this sort of nostalgia and wistfulness that is in a lot of the songs. Prior to that, she often drew tabloid scrutiny. Maybe it’s subconsciously been an influence. In her delicate, confessional singing and melodies there are hints of fellow artists like Lana Del Rey, for whom she has openly expressed admiration before, on “Cardigan” and Phoebe Bridgers on “Seven.” There’s the twinkling Postal-Service-referencing intro on “The Last Great American Dynasty,” the blissed-out orchestral walls of sound on “Epiphany,” the serving of elegiac Sufjan Stevens keys on “Invisible String.”. “To kiss in cars and downtown bars was all we needed,” she sings on “Cardigan,” and it sounds a lot like an echo of her lyrics on Lover’s “Cornelia Street” (“We were in the backseat, drunk on something stronger than the drinks in the bar”). I think I imagined her playing this and singing it. This feels like one of the real folk songs on the record, a sharp-witted narrative folk song. I first made this crazy drone which starts the song, and it’s there the whole time. Swift wrote and rec… In the past, heroes were just soldiers. Each song from folklore has a distinct meaning that resonates with Taylor Swift's life.Here is what every song on Taylor Swift's folklore actually means. With so few events to attend, live music still mostly canceled and many artists postponing their work, fresh projects are bound to find rapt audiences whether or not they are coming from Taylor Swift. Are you more "cardigan" or "exile"? For “epiphany,” she did have this idea of a beautiful drone, or a very cinematic sort of widescreen song, where it’s not a lot of accents but more like a sea to bathe in. Folklore is a little more, well, folkloric: “The lines between fantasy and reality blur and the boundaries between truth and fiction become almost indiscernible,” she shared in an advance statement about the lyrical content. It’s this record’s goth song. He would compose to them and then I would have people record them over here remotely.”, Dessner explains of the one unknown name who pops up in the. by Angelica Martinez. I think we have different styles, and we weren’t making them together or in the same room. It’s more because he loved the song and he thought he could do something with it that would add something. I would send songs to Bryce for him to add orchestration, and then he would send them back. It’s kind of looking back at childhood and those childhood feelings, recounting memories and memorializing them. Or, at least, it’s her most gothic record. Either way, the web of perspectives and emotions outlined in the track trio presents Swift fans with plenty of material to parse through as they unravel the mystery of Swift’s feelings and her new album’s connotations. The singer, 30, only released her seventh studio album Lover last year on August 23, 2019. There’s a little bit of her sense of humor in there, in addition to this kind of sadness that exists both underneath and on the surface. The opening song, “The 1,” is an ode to what could have been. Taylor Swift was showing off her killer modeling skills as she covered the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly. ... Taylor Swift is a writer’s writer. It’s played on this rubber bridge that my friend put on [the guitar] and it deadens the strings so that it sounds old. She knew that there was something coming because she said, “You know, I love this and I’m hearing something already.” And then she said, “This will change the story,” this beautiful and direct kind of recounting of a relationship in its origin. Even all her songs are titled in lowercase. But Dessner was game to speak to his specific contributions, influences, and own interpretations of each song on folklore, a record you can sum up by two words that came up often during our conversation: nostalgic and wry. Taylor Swift’s eighth studio album, folklore, was recorded “in isolation” during the COVID-19 pandemic. For the music a Freewheelin ’ Bob Dylan feel three songs i refer to as Teenage! 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